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Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Are thermoblocks...  
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 5:36pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

People who get bit hard by the espresso bug will upgrade in 3-5 years; people who don't get bit will probably keep the machine for (at least) five years.  

I want to know if they -- the latter group -- are still happy after the five years.  For the people who did upgrade, I want to know why -- was it because they seriously wanted to upgrade (and if so, to what), or was it because they didn't like the CC1?

Design flaws may not come out in the first year, under warranty.  And even so, the warranty covers it and the buyer is happy.  Poorly made machines will wear out in 3-5 years, so I would want to wait more than 36 months to see what falls apart . . .

Keep in mind that I had a Gaggia for 13-15 years, and when it died, got another one for 10-12 . . . 25 years with the same (model of) machine.  But when I discovered THIS place . . . between 2005 and 2009, I bought four machines!  But none were new-in-the-marketplace models.  I bought a new La Valentina, based largely on this for my home, and then wanted to get a bigger machine (more capacity, plumbed-in), and so I bought an Elektra T1 (based largely on this) for my house, and moved the La Val to my office.

Curious about Olympia machines, I bought a used (1989) Olympia Cafferex, and since I missed out on an Olympia Cremina, I bought an old (1960s) Arrarex Caravel manual lever, open-boiler design.

In other words, nothing new, untried and untested . . .

Posted February 22, 2013 link

There is a place that sells the La Valentina near my house. Just about the only place with 1.5 hours from my house that sells espresso machines. They ONLY sell the La Valentina. I notice it doesnt have two gauges. DO you find that this is a problem? DO you think this machine is worth a look?
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fredk01
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 6:19pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

Again, thanks for the excellent replay Jason.

Now that I understand the reason behind your upgrade comment, I agree.  More years of data on a machine is always better than less.  I understand your comment about the first year and warranty, though I suspect people who take the time to come here before purchasing are more likely to post their experiences even if they are happy with the support.

I'm not in a position to wait another two years before buying.  I'm always looking at the used market, but in Canada, there seem not to be the same opportunities in the price range I am looking: sub 1,000.  Used machines in Canada seem to be priced higher.

If I was willing to go up to $1k to $1,200 there would be more options used, but I just don't see myself needing a commercial grade machine.  I hate the idea of having a machine that sucks up lots of power and takes a long time to hear up just to make less than an espresso per day.  I looked at lever machines because they would seem ideal for heating up quickly and making the occasional drink, but I understand the learning curve is quite steep.

I keep coming back to the CC1 as the right features at the right price.  Unless I see something really negative about the CC1 I expect this is the route I will go.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained. :-)
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fredk01
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 6:21pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

cuznvin Said:

I think they call it INOX

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I think they call it clever dudes in the marketing department.  Give it a fancy name and imply its some proprietary new cool technology only you have...
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

fredk01 Said:

I think they call it clever dudes in the marketing department.  Give it a fancy name and imply its some proprietary new cool technology only you have...

Posted February 22, 2013 link


Yep..LOL
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 6:38pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

Aluminum + INOX??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyY5-rtuUsg
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fredk01
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

From wikipedia: In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% to 11% chromium content by mass.

One for the marketing weenies...
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 8:05pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

fredk01 Said:

From wikipedia: In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% to 11% chromium content by mass.

One for the marketing weenies...

Posted February 22, 2013 link


LOL..
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myallawala
Senior Member
myallawala
Joined: 25 Dec 2012
Posts: 86
Location: San Antonio, TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Mazzer Major & Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama Burner
Drip: Hario V60 & Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:25pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

You sound like you need a Crossland advocate. I'll be that guy.

I own the machine. I brought it home from the UPS office last Summer and have used it 3x daily nearly every day since. It's a helluva machine for the $700 I paid.

If you're really concerned with the steaming, then fear not, it's not weak for its grade. It is a home machine and it works wonderfully for that purpose. The thermoblock is far superior to the Breville Barista Express I had last (what a night mare). It can also send hot water through it so you can descale if you're worried about that.

I've been in touch with Bill Crossland to get a little more background on the machine. I understand some parts will be available soon so I'm not worried about that. I feel totally backed up on this. His support so far has been excellent (not that I've needed anything). I also understand that I was lucky to get a 1.5 iteration the first time around without actually having known that before I received it.

I have 0 problems. Feel free to ask questions about it. I love talking about my CC1. I'm going to attach a picture of a cappa I made today.

I'm using it with a Mazzer Major now but used it very easily with a Vario for the first 8-9 months with good results.

myallawala: 19717_580028775342535_596279342_n.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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fredk01
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

myallawala Said:

You sound like you need a Crossland advocate. I'll be that guy.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

Ha, maybe. :-)

Being both analytical and a pedant, I'm in a dance I go though in the final stages of decision making.  Because the CC1 is a new machine and thermoblock based machines have not been the best to date, I'm trying to understand what I may be getting myself into.

It's a helluva machine for the $700 I paid.

Brings to mind that expression "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is" so its good to hear from as many current users as possible.  This unit seems like a game changer at the low(ish) end of machines.

I've been in touch with Bill Crossland to get a little more background on the machine.

Anything you care to share?

Is there anything you wish the CC1 had, or did better?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Are thermoblocks ready for prime time?
 

You might find a bit of interesting reading by searching "billc" under author in CG search.  It hits most of the CC1 threads.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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